chefandy's Profile

Display Name: chefandy
Member Since: 2/9/10

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I'm with you. Requiring your guests to abide by strict rules, using childish retaliation tactics, or embarrassing your guests be calling them out on it, simply because you don't approve of their dinner party behavior seems bizarrely controlling and narcissistic to me. If people are giving more than an occasional glance at their phone, and it's a more formal dinner, then that is rude, and it makes them a boring dinner guest. If your friends are rude or boring to be around, don't invite them to any more dinner parties. Because you're an adult. That's how adults deal with that problem.


If a child were to approach you and say that another child that they invited over to play was being rudely and boringly self absorbed, in their own world, and not interacting at all, would the appropriate advice to them be

a) call them out on it and make rules to ensure that they will not be rude and boring the next time you invite them over
b) say "oh well, that's too bad. I guess you shouldn't invite them over to play anymore."

5 Ways to Deal With Dinner Party Guests Who Won't Put Down Their Phones
5/9/14 12:23 PM

Those prices are more winter hill than davis square, by far.

What Does It Really Cost to Live in Boston? Apartment Therapy's Cost of Living Report: Boston 2012
4/27/14 01:43 PM

That would be great if everclear was legal to buy everywhere.

How To Make Limoncello Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
12/27/13 04:31 PM

puree, strain, add sugar, and make slush! That's what they do where they make limoncello in italy. The eureka lemons might need more sugar than the meyer lemons though. Maybe add some orange, and orange zest?

How To Make Limoncello Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
12/27/13 04:30 PM

Advice from a former chef. You might not use all of this right off the bat, but keep it in mind as you move forward. These principles will change you from a kitchen follower to a kitchen leader.

-As you work your way through recipes, a better understanding of the *generic, broadly applicable techniques* that make a recipe, such as sautéing, steaming, or making a vinaigrette, is an infinitely more useful takeaway than a more solid understanding of that specific recipe. Paying attention to, and developing good technique will make *all* of your cooking taste good.

-75% of dull tasting food tastes dull because it needs more salt, acid, or more rarely, fat or sweetness, or even more rarely, bitterness... those things, temperature and spiciness are the only things that your tongue, by itself, can detect. If they're done properly, the brain tells the nose to pay more attention to the subtleties in the food that's in your mouth, making it taste more intense. Most of the rest of that 25% is boring because you didn't use high enough heat when cooking it, or didn't cook it long enough to reduce the water content and concentrate the flavors. Practice your seasoning by setting a little bit aside, adding what you think you need to add, which is often far more than you think, tasting it, and when you season a mini-batch that tastes great, try and replicate that in your larger dish. Remember, season a bit, then taste, then add a bit more, then taste... until it tastes good. If you try and do it all at once, chances are you are going to overdo it. Too much salt, within reason, can be mitigated by adding unsalted fat, especially heavy cream.

-Don't be afraid of heat. It's better to multitask less, use higher heat, and give 100% of your attention to what's on the stove right at that moment, than to reduce the heat so you can go chop something or set the table.

-Before you eat something, whether you cooked it or not, smell it really deeply to try and pull out the individual components. It takes practice, but it will vastly improve your ability to pair different flavors down the road.

-Invest in a pair of tongs that's beefy enough to pick up a sheet pan out of the oven with something on it.

-The most expensive european knives are made from alloys that are meant to be easy to sharpen, not to keep an edge forever. If you even touch one of them to a surface harder than a plastic or wood cutting board, like a pan, or a plate, or a glass cutting board, the blad will instantly develop a flat spot. If you don't have good cutting boards, and/or are not interested in learning how to sharpen your knife every few times you use it, then get a cheaper, stainless steel knife. It will serve you well, and have a more durable edge. A "knife steel" (the thing with the handle on it that you see chefs rubbing their knives against) aligns the edge of an already sharp knife... it does not sharpen the knife. To sharpen a knife, you need a 'stone' (many aren't made of stone) or one of the stupid scrapey pieces of crap that they sell in kitchen stores that kill your blade edges... but don't buy one of those. Look up youtube videos on how to sharpen your knife with a stone.

And that's all the random ramblin's that I managed to squeeze out of my head for that.

Mollie Katzen's 5 Essentials for Becoming a Great Home Cook Expert Essentials
9/11/13 02:31 PM

Emma, you always have such great ideas!

How to Make Frozen Pizzas at Home Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
3/19/13 12:09 PM

Jeez, it takes 20 minutes. I'm all about practical shortcuts in cooking if the quality is reasonably similar, but if you can't bear being at the stove for a whole 20 minutes, you don't deserve risotto. It's not like traditional polenta recipes that require about 40 minutes of constantly stirring a thick paste... it's easy to stir and a pleasure to cook. Have some respect for the dish and do it correctly I say.

Yay or Nay: Do You Have to Stir Risotto? | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn
2/10/10 12:55 AM

That's cool, I never see it with the celery on... it's always trimmed when I get it.

How to Peel Celery Root Home Hacks | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn
2/10/10 12:38 AM

Gorgeous Vol Au Vents in that picture. Must have been a really talented photographer.

Kitchen Mysteries: What Makes Puff Pastry Puff? | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn
2/10/10 12:36 AM

That's the professional method for carving a bird that just about every restaurant uses. It's based on cleanly separating whole muscles from the skeleton so you have big minimally damaged pieces of meat and very little waste. It might seem a bit more difficult at first, but it's the quickest and easiest way to get as close to 100% (meat) utilization out of the chicken as is humanly possible with very few knife cuts. After using this method a few times you'll wonder why you did it any other way.

The results really do speak for themselves. There's almost no meat left on the carcass and you've got around 8 beautiful whole pieces of chicken with separate white and dark meat on the other plate. If you just hack pieces off haphazardly, you will either a) be wasting a lot of chicken or b) have at least two of the 5 servings on the bird be crappy little shreds of meat that take twice as long to carve than if you had just done the whole thing right to begin with.

How To Carve a Roast Chicken: The Video Home Hacks | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn
2/9/10 11:32 PM